Janka wins World Cup giant slalom
December 13, 2008
VAL D’ISERE, France ” Carlo Janka of Switzerland won a World Cup giant slalom race Saturday, while Americans Ted Ligety finished 12th and Bode Miller was 24th after nearly falling.
Janka finished in a two-run time of 2 minutes, 22.73 seconds, beating Massimiliano Blardone of Italy by 0.20 seconds.
Ligety, the reigning World Cup giant slalom champion, lost time on the bottom section and missed out on a fifth straight podium finish in the event.
“It was so bumpy you just couldn’t see anything. You had to feel your way down,” Ligety said. “I was trying hard to go harder, but I just couldn’t allow myself to do that when it’s like that.”
Miller, the defending World Cup overall champion, went wide on two gates and almost fell on the top section on the tough Bellevarde course. World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal missed out on a podium place after almost falling.
Janka, who won the super G on Friday, managed to successfully navigate the course.
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“All the pieces went perfectly together,” Janka said. “The course suits my style. It was just a case of going for it.”
Gauthier de Tessieres of France took third in 2:23.17 after finishing 30th in the first run. Manfred Moelgg of Italy dropped to sixth place after leading from the first run.
De Tessieres profited from better weather and a smoother slope as the first to go down the slope on the second run.
“I was tired, but I heard the fans at the bottom,” De Tessieres said. “You’re at home. It transcends you.”
De Tessieres held the lead until Janka went faster at every time check with a near faultless technique. Blardone made up good time at the bottom, while Svindal went back on his skis and managed not to fall.
There were spectacular falls for Alberto Schieppati of Italy and Frederic Covili of France, although both got back up and didn’t appear hurt.
Benjamin Raich’s bid for a third straight World Cup race win ended when he failed to complete his run. The two-time Olympic champion from Austria had won the super-combi on Friday after a brilliant slalom run.
Svindal still leads the overall World Cup standings with 395 points heading into Sunday’s slalom event. Raich is second with 293 points, while Janka improved to third (291).
Didier Cuche of Switzerland finished fifth to move into first place in the giant slalom standings with 165 points, three more than Ligety and seven ahead of Janka.
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